I am a mother of four. That means four times the love, four times the fun, and four times the noise. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have it any other way but it is pretty much always loud, confusing mayhem. Sometimes when they are all talking, needing my attention, I feel a little bit like I’m conducting a really horrible orchestra. Hands waving, I’m calling out instructions, “You, pause. You, rest. You, a little quieter. You, the floor is yours, speak up.”
Occasionally someone will yell for me from another room and I know that my response will vary depending on whose voice it is. If the kid who ate all their dinner is asking for a snack, the answer will likely be yes. If the kid who just moved the green beans around their plate asks the same question, it’s probably going to be a solid no. Who I am listening to matters and because of that, it seems I’m often asking, “Who is talking to me?”
The truth is that noise isn’t contained to the four walls of my home. The world is constantly vying for my attention too. Everywhere, it seems, there are voices calling for me. Gifted writers and hilarious podcast hosts and so many kind, honest, passionate people are saying, “Look at this, listen to us, think this way.” If I’m not paying close attention, I can easily be pulled in a variety of directions. It’s really easy sometimes to go with the flow and agree with what is being said. It can be a little more challenging to stop and ask, “Who is talking to me?”
Here is something I know. The Bible is true and it is my foundation and my guide. I have read the entirety of it, from Genesis to Revelation, at least five times. I spend time in it pretty much each day. I also know this: when I am struggling, more often than not, I am researching which authors have written on the topic. Or I will do a google search for blog posts about it. And while I know how helpful it can be to hear from someone who has walked the same road I am walking, I’m not sure I’ve done a great job of asking, “Who is talking to me?”
This world is comprised of human beings and human beings are imperfect. And while their imperfect ideas and perspectives can be honest and helpful and honorable, they are still just human ideas and perspectives. When I pause to ask myself who I am listening to, I must consider my source. Is the voice I am hearing that of another imperfect human or am I hearing God’s words?
Who I am listening to matters.
Read more of Abbie Mabary’s contributions to allmomdoes here.